Aug 29, 2012

Dog Auditions for Gypsy

Boo, considered the world's cutest, and most famous, dog. Could your pup be next? Source

The Fine Arts Center's Theatre Company is kicking off the tantalizing Silver Theatre Season with America's greatest musicalGypsy

The cast has been set, except for one very small, but special character: CHOWSIE, Mama Rose's pint-sized pooch. And so, the Theatre Company is holding dog auditions.

Chowsie Audition (real dogs only)

We are seeking a "purse"-sized dog to play CHOWSIE in our upcoming production of Gypsy.  Dog should be house trained, be able to not bark while on stage with musical theatre songs being performed, and be fairly good with kids. Compensation provided. Auditions by appointment only. To audition, send an email of interest with photo of dog to:  by Sept 6, 2012.

Aug 28, 2012

Best of Colorado Springs 2012

Have you voted this year in the CS Indy's BEST OF COLORADO SPRINGS? If not, there's still time! Voting ends this Friday, August 31st at 5 p.m., and for those who are fans of all things FAC, below is your Easy Voters Guide

Vote Café 36 for:
   Power Lunch
   Wait Staff
   Restaurant for Herbivores
   Burger (seriously, the blue cheese bacon burger is pretty incredible)
   Sunday Brunch
   Restaurant for a Wedding Reception
   Patio Dining (quiet, beautiful lawns, unobstructed view of Pikes's awesome)
   Dessert Destination (three words: Brulee ala Café 36)

Luma at the FAC for:
   Place to Buy Art
   Place to Buy a Thoughtful Over-the-Top AND Inexpensive Gift (there are many options!)
Fine Arts Center for:
   Human Day Care

Vote Fine Arts Center for: 
   Place for  Blind Date
   Place for a Wedding (especially if the FAC was your first dateAW!)
   Tourist Destination
   Art Exhibition
   Cultural Attraction/Museum

Vote Fine Arts Center for:
   Nonprofit Organization

Vote online

Aug 27, 2012

NEW Acquisition: Jennifer Bartlett's "House, Dots and Hatches"

Jennifer Bartlett, House, Dots and Hatches, serigraph, edition 33 of 150, 1999. A gift of Ron and Una Brasch.

Have you seen the new mini-exhibition showcasing the new additions to the FAC Permanent Collection? Currently, there are six pieces in the hallway where the 75th Anniversary timeline used to be, and they represent a variety of approaches.

Arshile Gorky, Diary of a Seducer, oil on canvas, 1945
(image source).
California-based painter Jennifer Bartlett (no relation to 1950s FAC Director Fred Bartlett) is known for her paintings of mundane, everyday objects in an abstract yet representational way. Representational art is also known as figurative art, and it depicts real objects. It is usually used in contrast to abstract art, but Bartlett's pieces show how opposites can get along and result in one colorful work of art.

The artist's influences include Gorky, French Impressionists, Robert Rauschenberg, Dostoyevsky, T.S. Eliot among others. The contrast between the light airy-ness of Impressionist works and the darkness behind Bartlett's literary influences echoes the contrast between abstractionism and representationalism.

During her time at Mills College (she eventually transferred to Yale University), she "picked up L’Etranger by Camus, and my course was determined: art had to be dark, spare and serious. I’ve yet to achieve one of these goals...My own childhood was dark and mysterious. The books, movies and art I liked had complexities that I could identify with, and that were not part of the milieu in which I lived."

Jennifer Bartlett, Diminishing Circles,
oil on canvas, 2000-01 (image source).
Her pieces range widely in size, from a 200-foot mural for the Federal Building in Atlanta, Ga., to a three-wall, 372 piece installation in New York City's Pace Gallery, to our wall painting.

Bartlett has used the house motif and grid motif for over 50 years. "I subjected this house scene to various scenarios. What would happen if one element of the landscape left the painting in sequence, until the plate was blank? ... I zoomed in on the house, through the open door, looking through a window with the landscape behind it that you couldn’t see because the house was in front of it. What if? ... I was curious about that. I became increasingly interested in setting up a circumstance where each system I had used—the house, a different set of suppositions than the intersection piece—became a “what if” situation."

We welcome you to check out our other recent acquisitions, along with the EIGHT other exhibitions we have going on when you visit the geometric, colorful and tantalizing House, Dots and Hatches by Jennifer Bartlett!

Aug 24, 2012

Fata Morgana and Scott Johnson

A screenshot from Werner Herzog's 1972 film, Fata Morgana. Fata Morgana was shot in the Sahara Desert, with much of the footage consisting of long tracking shots. Fata Morgana was originally conceived as a sci-fi story where they would cast the shots as extraterrestrial landscapes. Herzog abandoned this concept when filming began. Temporary exhibition artist Scott Johnson was heavily influenced by this film, naming his second-floor Steiner Gallery installation after this movie (image source).
Desert mirage showing the illusion of a body of water
in the distance. The pool is a product of an inferior mirage,
a combination of temperature difference between the surface
and sky and bending light rays (image source).
For the opening of new exhibitions at the FAC, we hold Members-exclusive Previews of the show a day before they open to the public. For Places Apart, we held an artist and curator talk with local artist Scott Johnson and Museum Director Blake Milteer. In the talk, Johnson brought up the importance of elemental and earthly forms in his work. An inspiration for his play on nature and illusion is the 1972 Werner Herzog film, Fata Morgana.

A Fata Morgana is an optical phenomenon (see our blog post about optical illusions) that occurs in the very narrow horizontal space above the horizon. Fata Morgana are mirages, rather than hallucinations because they can be captured on camera; mirages have to do with bent light rays producing a displaced image. There are two types of mirages: inferior and superior. The well-known types of inferior mirage are the illusion of a faraway body of water in the desert, or an oil spill on hot tarmac -- when in fact, neither the water nor oil is actually there. It's "inferior" because the mirage image, the body of water, is under what is causing the reflection, in this case, the sky.

An example of a superior mirage. Above the perfectly
horizontal band on the horizon are the normal looking
mountains. Between the mountains and the water
is the "duct" where the superior mirage occurs
Fata Morgana is a special type of superior mirage. They're unusual because the superior distortion that happens is such a significant difference that sometimes even results in totally unrecognizable reflections. Fata Morgana occur when light rays are bent due to the difference in temperatures through thermal inversion (when there is a layer of warmer air above a layer of much cooler air, which is the opposite of what normally happens). The thermal inversion bends the light rays so much that the curvature of the rays is stronger than the curvature of the earth.

Become a FAC Member and enjoy advance previews of new exhibitions, free gallery admission, discounted theatre tickets and MUCH more. 

James Turrell | Trace Elements: Light into Space
Scott Johnson | Places Apart
July 14 - Sept. 30

Aug 23, 2012

Reflecting on the Waldo Canyon Fire

 Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Waldo Canyon Fire Community Display. It was incredibly moving to hear your thoughts, thank yous, and hopes for recovery — coming together in difficult times is a beautiful thing. Below are some photos of what you had to say.

Aug 22, 2012

Honey Boo Boo Mom - The Modern Momma Rose

"Work it, Smoochie!"; "Shake your butt, Baby!" - Momma Thompson

Kiddy beauty pageant royalty and Toddlers in Tiaras poster child, 6 year old Alana Thompson, has shot to mega stardom this summer. Bearing a jiggling mid-drift in her daisy dukes, downing “go-go juice” (a potent cocktail of Redbull, Mountain Dew, and sugar), and exclaiming her part endearing, part disturbing catch phrase “a dolla makes me holla, honey boo boo!” has earned Alana our undivided attention - a single YouTube video featuring Alana has 6,644,973 hits, 11,917 likes, and 27,765 dislikes.

Most viral of Alana’s YouTube antics is a video entitled “Worst Mom of the Year Toddlers And Tiaras star Alana” and a Google search for Alana Thompson spits back results that touch only briefly on the precocious little pageant queen before going on to slam her eccentric stage mom, June Thompson.  June’s questionable parenting has stolen the limelight from her daughter’s plump belly and sassy remarks.

It seems no mistake that in Alana’s spin off series “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” June Thompson has been officially coined “Momma” – a likely reference to the infamous original stage mom “Momma Rose” from classic American musical Gypsy.  Momma Rose’s real life counter part, Rose Thompson Hovick, was mother of burlesque icon Gypsy Rose Lee and became infamous for selling her daughters into stardom. In Gypsy, character Momma Rose affirms the legacy as a domineering matriarch who steals her daughters' innocence.

While our newest stagemom obsession, June Thompson, is no cold hearted Momma Rose, parallels can certainly be drawn. Little Alana's risque pageant getups and caffeine concoctions might make you a bit queasy.

"Here she is boys/ Here she is world/ Here's Rose"Momma Rose 

Come see original stagemom nightmare, "Momma Rose", in the FAC Theatre Company's production

Gypsy: A Musical Fable opening September 27th.

“... Mama Rose, arguably the greatest musical-female role in probably the most satisfying backstage musical of American theater’s golden age.” —Newsday
“From its pulse-racing overture to its knockout finale, ‘Gypsy’ is one of those great, glorious musicals that can be enjoyed repeatedly thanks to its tremendous score, and compelling showbiz story.” —The Star-Ledger.
September 27 - October 21, 2012

Aug 21, 2012

Public Free Day — Tues., Aug 21

View of the Glass Corridor from the Courtyard. Hyakkimaru's Kirie World is on view in the Glass Corridor and the Hybl Screening Room. The window reflection shows Frank Mechau's outdoor mural, Wild Horses.
The closing of Wild Horses over the weekend after Friday's Whiskey for My Men, Beer for My Horses has made way for a new mini-exhibition, a retrospective of Colorado Springs architect John James Wallace

Pikes Peak Center was one of John James Wallace's many Colorado
Springs designs  (image source). The photographic retrospective of
Wallace's works are one part of the AIA's celebration.
Hosted in conjunction with American Institute of Architects - Colorado, a collection of large-scale photos will be on display showing Wallace's works around the Pikes Peak region. His portfolio includes Colorado College's Honnen Ice Arena and the downtown Pikes Peak Center. This Friday, Aug. 24, Café 36 will host the annual Design Awards Gala to celebrate the architectural achievements of Colorado architects. See the full day's events here.

Nasario Lopez, La Muerte en su Carreta (Death in Her
, 1860, cottonwood, pine, gesso, wood and leather.
On view in the first-floor galleries in An Enduring Vision.

Public Free Day — Tues., Aug 21
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission: Free!

Aug 20, 2012

Guess This (Theatre) Photo

This photo was taken by Permanent Collection artist Laura Gilpin of John Gaw Meem standing on the balcony of the FAC's original theatre!

As you can easily notice walking through the FAC halls, Meem integrated Art Deco elements with Southwestern influences for his architectural design -- the stylistic hybrid that originally attracted Alice Bemis Taylor to Meem's work, leading her to commission him as the architect for the Grand Opening of the FAC in 1936. Here's a quick glance at some of the original theatre's specs:

30' x 21' height of the original proscenium arch
43' x 53' size of the original stage, including orchestra pit
399 seating capacity
950 weight (in pounds) of Palmer Hargrave's aluminum and glass chandelier
48 number of lamps in Hargrave's chandelier
3 number of artists (all from Taos) involved in painting the murals for the theatre lobby (now Café 36)
+$1 million cost of FAC 50th Anniversary renovation (in 1986), which included new carpets, drapes, upholestery, lighting, sound and projection
$3.5 million cost of 2005 renovation, transforming the old theatre into today's SaGaJi
+10,000 number of performances taken place in the Theatre space

Celebrate the rich history behind the Theatre's Silver Anniversary in a host of ways. We feature post-performance TalkBacks with the cast, as well as backstage tours and have even added a sixth production to the line-up of musicals, film adaptations, Tony Award winners/nominees, and much more. We've also added the Music Room as an additional stage to four shows. See the entire lineup here. Buy a theatre subscription for the 2012-13 season, which includes tickets to the entire season's shows at up to a 35% discount off regular pricing. Call the Box Office for more info 719.634.5583 or email at

Theatre Subscriptions:
$60-$150 (Members $60-$135)
4 Pack FlexPass — FlexPass serves as an alternative to the Theatre Subscription if you are uncertain of your schedule. Subscriptions do allow for unlimited ticket exchanges.
$130, $32.50/show (Members $120, $30/show)
5 Pack FlexPass
$165, $33/show (Members $150, $30/show)
6 Pack Flex Pass
$200, $33.33/show (Members $180, $30/show)

Aug 16, 2012

...In the Community (Aug 16-30)

We're featuring a bi-monthly glance at some exciting upcoming local events — some art, some outdoors, some music... hopefully you'll find a little bit of everything. Share your experience of these events in the comments section, Facebook, or Twitter (use #inthecommunity) if you go to any of these! Please note: phone numbers listed are for the event, not necessarily the venue.

Juel Grant, VSP XIX (image source).
Transformative Nature
8/17 - 9/17 | 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Free at Commonwheel Artists Co-op (map) — 719.685.1008
Featuring Audrey Gray's newest works that combine natural and found materials and Juel Grant's VSP (very small paintings) as re-interpretations of the term "nature." Part of Manitou Springs' 3rd Friday Art Walk.

Run for the Fallen
Sat., 8/18 | 8 a.m.
Free at Iron Horse Park, Fort Carson (map) — 719.526.1867
An outdoors event to commemorate fallen soldiers; event options are 5k run at 9 a.m. or 1 mile walk start at 9:10 a.m. Bicycles and pets are not allowed.

S.O.S. Fundraiser for the Colorado Springs Senior Center
Tues., 8/21 | 5 - 7 p.m.
Free, but donations accepted at Warehouse Restaurant & Gallery (map) — 719.387.6000
Enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres in support of the Senior Center and its significance to the community.

Jazz in the Garden
Fri., 8/24 | 7 p.m.
Free at Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (map) — 719.328.1125
This Friday's concert will feature Ladies of Jazz: Claire Anderson, Danielle Sena and Kathy Woodford with Mark Arnest. 

Hope and Action Film Series: "What's 'Organic' About Organic?"
Fri., 8/24 | 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Free at First United Methodist Church (map) — 719.471.8522
Watch Shelley Roger's "What's 'Organic' About Organic?", followed by a discussion led by a Grant Family Farms representative. See the trailer below.

Freebird: Jazz in the Now
Sun., 8/26 | 7 p.m.
$15 at Marmalade at Smokebrush (map) — 719.444.1012
Freebird combines blues, funk, jazz to transform familiar tunes into new songs. Featuring Joseph "FluteDaddy" Liberti, Lee Gardner, Jana Lee Ross and Dick Cunico.

...In the Community runs on the first and third Thursdays of each month on the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Blog.

Aug 15, 2012

Scott Johnson Artist Talk Highlights

Artist Scott Johnson in his The No Plateau

Below are excerpts from our live Twitter feed of the Members-only Preview of the Scott Johnson and James Turrell exhibitions. Local artist Johnson joined Museum Director and Curator Blake Milteer for an audience discussion about the vision, process and inspiration behind Johnson's site-specific, multi-sensory exhibition.

If you're unable to join our Members Only previews, we are still happy to field questions from the Twitter community; make sure to use the exhibition-related hashtags. Join the conversation, and the experience!

"what's most important is you experience this IN TIME, as your body moves through the gallery" #GoExperienceIt

This art feels contemporary but Johnson's use of one-pt perspective harkens back to Renaissance #GoExperienceIt

Johnson tries to problematize the limits of perspective in traditional modes of visual representation #ScottJohnson #GoExperienceIt
Creativity = listening process #ScottJohnson #GoExperienceIt
#ScottJohnson constructed directly on site of FAC museum, pieces are very calculated and site specific to the space #GoExperienceIt

"way of thinking non-verbally & in a non-linear fashion. U end up w/ results U dont expect" #GoExperienceIt #ScottJohnson

"Favorite piece in the show is the thin copper wire pieces pinned directly on the space" #ScottJohnson #GoExperienceIt

"a lot of this is about framing experience. It's very much about the artifice that ALLOWS us to see it" #ScottJohnson #GoExperienceIt

"this is 1 of the most BEAUTIFUL things we've done hre. It unfolds 4 U ovr a period of time, so we hope U come back again" #GoExperienceIt

Q: can u evolve the exhibition over time? A: I might add, edit, alter the Alluvium Room,#GoExperienceIt #ScottJohnson

Beeswax sculpture = "nonverbal aromatic experience" - like going to a homemade dinner at a friends house #ScottJohnson #GoExperienceIt

"not just abt the optical experience in terms of pereception but the other senses too" #ScottJohnson #GoExperienceIt

Johnson's carbonized trees harkens back to #waldocanyonfire "aesthetic exp that has to do with reality" #GoExperienceIt

FineArtsCenter Jul 13, 6:54pm
Fire, first technology we domesticated. Carbonized trees relate to this idea, playing w/idea for +7yrs #ScottJohnson #GoExperienceIt

FineArtsCenter Jul 13, 6:58pm
"this work is abt the inadequacy of words, and hopefully leads to discourse" #GoExperienceIt #ScottJohnson


"these pieces come from direct perceptual experience in the landscape" think open ocean, whiteouts, snowdrifts #GoExperienceIt

"Special thanks to security guards for letting me in & out at all hours while working on this exhibit" #ScottJohnson #GoExperienceIt

"landscape is one of the first things that moved me with Scott's work. I'd never seen this elemental quality before" #GoExperienceIt

Weekend film suggestion from #ScottJohnson: Fata Morgana #GoExperienceIt

Art has the ability to change the way we see the world; visually, physically, chemically, spirituality #GoExperienceIt

"perhaps this is a suggestion of what art can, and will be" -Blake #GoExperienceIt

"playing upon visual representation history in the west" which is why Fata Morgana is on the wall-- flat yet sculptural 3D #GoExperienceIt

James Turrell | Trace Elements: Light into Space
Scott Johnson | Places Apart
July 14 - Sept. 30